Pablo Sandoval to begin rehab assignment Friday at Single-A

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The Giants’ official Twitter feed passed along some good news this evening on third baseman Pablo Sandoval, who has been sidelined since late April due to a fractured right hamate bone.

“Kung Fu Panda” is going to begin a minor league rehab assignment on Friday with Single-A San Jose. He will play two games there before moving along to Triple-A Fresno for another three to five games.

If all goes well, Sandoval could make his way back to the Giants’ starting lineup by next weekend.

The 24-year-old was batting .313/.374/.530 with 14 RBI through his first 91 plate appearances this season. With a healthier self and a completely revamped fitness plan, he should have no trouble getting back on track.

Giants starter Barry Zito is also ready to begin a rehab assignment. He’ll start Monday at Single-A San Jose.

Yankees re-sign Jon Niese to a minor league deal

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The Yankees have re-signed pitcher Jon Niese to a minor league contract, George A. King III of the New York Post reports. Niese was released on Sunday, but he’ll stick around and provide rotation depth for the Yankees.

Niese had knee surgery last August and got a late start to spring training as a result. In six spring appearances lasting an inning each, the lefty gave up three earned runs on five hits and a walk with five strikeouts.

Niese, a veteran of nine seasons, put up an aggregate 5.50 ERA with an 88/47 K/BB ratio in 121 innings last season between the Pirates and Mets.

Orioles acquire Alec Asher from the Phillies

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The Phillies announced on Tuesday that the club traded pitcher Alec Asher to the Orioles for a player to be named later.

Asher, 25, was the victim of a roster crunch. He was not going to make the 25-man roster and the starting rotation at Triple-A Lehigh Valley was already full. The Phillies acquired him from the Rangers in the July 2015 Cole Hamels trade.

Asher had good results in 27 2/3 innings in the big leagues last year, posting a 2.28 ERA with a 13/4 K/BB ratio. While it didn’t show in those stats, the right-hander sometimes struggles with command and he doesn’t miss bats often enough to make up for it. The Orioles, however, are happy to add some pitching depth.